VANDALIA — Fairborn came out flat in Friday’s first-round Division I boys high school basketball sectional tournament game, and Northmont took advantage for a 69-49 win, Feb. 23 at the Butler High School Student Activities Center.
It didn’t seem as if it were a matter of the Skyhawks turning the ball over more than the Thunderbolts. Unofficially, Fairborn had 17 total turnovers to 16 for Northmont. Fairborn, the No. 14 seed in the tourney, just never seemed to get into a comfortable rhythm.
Meanwhile, 13th seeded Northmont would often snare the defensive rebound and bury a shot at the other end of the court.
The two teams were tied at 6-all barely three minutes into the game, then the ‘Bolts blew things open with an 11-0 run. Northmont held a 19-10 lead after one quarter of play.
A Shaunn Monroe three midway through the second period pulled the Skyhawks back to within six points at 22-16, but that was as close as Fairborn would get the rest of the way.
Northmont coach Collin Abels was the first to admit that his team had a solid scoring night, better than normal.
“We shot it well tonight, for sure,” he said. “We’re usually a team that creates our offense with our defense, and I did think our defense played really well. They’ve got some dynamic players, and that Monroe kid is as good as I’ve seen. I thought we did a great job on them defensively.
“Shooting is a lot about confidence. We had some kids make some shots and started feeling it. We did a good job of taking the right shots from the perimeter, and we did an even better job in the second half of allowing the outside shots to create some inside scoring opportunities for us.”
Senior guard Jabari Perkins led the Thunderbolts (11-12) with a game-high 24 points, half which came from 3-point range. Danny Lewis finished with 12 points, Prophet Johnson wasn’t even listed in the game program but he finished with 11 points, and Dawson Walker’s inside game earned him double figures in scoring with 10.
“Our execution as a team wasn’t our best tonight,” Fairborn coach Nathan Chivington said. “That makes it an especially hard way to end your season, knowing that you didn’t play your best. … Northmont did what they were supposed to do and … we didn’t follow through individually or as a team tonight.”
Fairborn (9-14) loses seniors Wesley Watts, Tarik Yagmurkaya, K.J. Redmon and Jordan Greene with the loss. Watts was on the sideline with a knee injury and did not play. Monroe led the Skyhawks in scoring with 13 points, Joe Nickel bombed four 3-pointers to finish with 12 points and Redmon finished with eight to lead Fairborn.
Yagmurkaya, O.J. Person, Greene, Jarod Bodekor, Tylen Eatman and Bailey Snapp combined to score 14 for the Skyhawks.
“I feel bad for our seniors. They didn’t get to play their best game together on our final night,” Chivington said. “… They’re leaving us with a lot of good memories. I told them they’ve been through a lot of highs and lows, and I hope they will learn from the lows and reminisce and enjoy the memories of the highs of their careers.
“We hope that the lessons they’ve learned on and off the court will help prepare them to be solid men in the future.”
Northmont advances to take on No. 5-seeded Centerville in the tournament’s second round. That game is set for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Butler High.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.